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dcstoryteller

Hotel in Oslo

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We are headed on July 23 to Oslo to meet the Marina and go on a fiord cruise.  We get to Oslo a day early and are looking for a nice, convenient hotel that is reasonably priced.  Oceania offered us on for $900 per night, but that seemed extreme. Other websites show good hotels for $125-$200 per night.   Any suggestions?  Also, we usually don't book tours and pick up locals wherever we go.  That has worked out in the past.  Will it work out on this cruise?

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1 hour ago, dcstoryteller said:

We are headed on July 23 to Oslo to meet the Marina and go on a fiord cruise.  We get to Oslo a day early and are looking for a nice, convenient hotel that is reasonably priced.  Oceania offered us on for $900 per night, but that seemed extreme. Other websites show good hotels for $125-$200 per night.   Any suggestions?  Also, we usually don't book tours and pick up locals wherever we go.  That has worked out in the past.  Will it work out on this cruise?

 

You are correct, that is a ridiculous amount, even in pricey Norway.

 

Especially in cities we may not get back to, we usually try to enjoy something "nice", in a good location.

In Oslo, we stayed at the Oslo Grand.  It overlooks a lovely park, and a government building with amazing architecture.  (There happened to be a small demonstration in front of that for a few hours, which was fun to watch briefly.)

 

I just looked at their website for your date, and you'd have to go up the luxe scale quite a bit to get to that $900!

A view of the park/square was very nice, by the way.

Very convenient city location in general.

 

I wonder what Oceania has in mind for that price!?

And there are certainly very nice places for considerably less than the Oslo Grand!

 

GC

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We stayed at a Best Western that was recommended by Rick Steves. We took the train in from the airport. We walked most places except Vinland Park and to see the Fram. Breakfast was included and you were encouraged to make sandwiches for lunch. They even provided the waxed paper. Prices will be high in Norway for food and hotels.

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32 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

You are correct, that is a ridiculous amount, even in pricey Norway.

 

Especially in cities we may not get back to, we usually try to enjoy something "nice", in a good location.

In Oslo, we stayed at the Oslo Grand.  It overlooks a lovely park, and a government building with amazing architecture.  (There happened to be a small demonstration in front of that for a few hours, which was fun to watch briefly.)

 

I just looked at their website for your date, and you'd have to go up the luxe scale quite a bit to get to that $900!

A view of the park/square was very nice, by the way.

Very convenient city location in general.

 

I wonder what Oceania has in mind for that price!?

And there are certainly very nice places for considerably less than the Oslo Grand!

 

GC

They are pushing the Radisson Blue downtown.  Business class room.  I saw the Oslo Grand on the web and it looks nice to me.  Thanks for the recommendation.  What about local tours?  The ship also wants lots of money for their tours and I have had success in other places just using someone at the dock or finding a tour company over the internet.  We have seen the museum island and recommend it to anyone, but now we have about 24 hours to experience Oslo and want to see what else it has to offer.  Any suggestions?

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6 minutes ago, dcstoryteller said:

They are pushing the Radisson Blue downtown.  Business class room.  I saw the Oslo Grand on the web and it looks nice to me.  Thanks for the recommendation.  What about local tours?  The ship also wants lots of money for their tours and I have had success in other places just using someone at the dock or finding a tour company over the internet.  We have seen the museum island and recommend it to anyone, but now we have about 24 hours to experience Oslo and want to see what else it has to offer.  Any suggestions?

 

For starters, have you signed up for the Roll Call for those on your cruise?

There may well be some organized small group tours during the cruise, and also the day before, too.

 

Otherwise, we've in the past had some very nice results from TripAdvisor, but we communicate directly with the provider, and not with any consolidator.  That way, we can customize precisely what we want to see/do, usually with the suggestions of the guide.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

GC

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Thanks.  I just checked out the Oslo Grand.  I remember it from our previous visit.  Even though I tried to book one of the higher priced rooms, it said it was booked.  Any second choices?  I will check TA for tours and Roll Call.

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I just booked the Continental Hotel in Oslo.  It got great reviews and was middle priced...luxury, but not 5 star.  Includes wifi and free breakfast for $316.  Anyone ever stayed there?

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12 minutes ago, dcstoryteller said:

I just booked the Continental Hotel in Oslo.  It got great reviews and was middle priced...luxury, but not 5 star.  Includes wifi and free breakfast for $316.  Anyone ever stayed there?

 

I think that would have been our second choice. :classic_smile:

 

You found the Oslo Grand fully booked for your date?

When I entered your date, all but one category appeared to be available.  But I did not actually try to make a reservation.

Did you go to their own website?

 

GC

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I tried three different levels of rooms there and every time it would say those rooms were not available.  I was using the link that I was given by Delta.  So, maybe they didn't have any rooms available at the Delta rate.  Anyhow, I had to make a non-refundable payment to Continental, so I am there.  I'll go by the Grand for a drink and a look around.  I loved the building from the outside and the pictures inside looked great.  Thanks for your help.

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Posted (edited)
Just now, dcstoryteller said:

Anyhow, I had to make a non-refundable payment to Continental, so I am there

I do hope that you have travel insurance of some kind.

Speaking for myself, I try never to make non-refundable hotel reservations because stuff happens 🙂

Edited by Paulchili

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11 minutes ago, dcstoryteller said:

I tried three different levels of rooms there and every time it would say those rooms were not available.  I was using the link that I was given by Delta.  So, maybe they didn't have any rooms available at the Delta rate.  Anyhow, I had to make a non-refundable payment to Continental, so I am there.  I'll go by the Grand for a drink and a look around.  I loved the building from the outside and the pictures inside looked great.  Thanks for your help.

 

For future reference, especially if we are dealing with a non-refundable hotel rate, *before* we commit, we will at least check the hotel's own website.  There are sometimes special rates on a hotel website, although I didn't see any such "special" rate (often non-refundable) just now for the Oslo Grand.  We got something like that at a 5 star hotel in Milan a few years ago... lower than Expedia or *any* other website we found!  We had to do that night by night, or the default was the highest of the nightly rates.  And when I emailed the hotel after the fact, to alert them that the 5 nights were linked, and we would like to avoid needing to change rooms (which would also be easier for the hotel, of course), they wrote back - much to our surprise - that they were offering us the lowest of the nightly rates for all of the nights.  (I had mentioned the reason we booked each night separately, to get the lowest available rate for each night, rather than the lowest rate that was available for *all* of the nights.)

 

Our philosophy often is, "If you don't ask, they won't offer..." :classic_wink:

And the worst that would happen would usually be a "no", which is probably where one would have been if one hadn't asked in the first place.

 

IIRC, the Continental also looked very nice indeed.

 

Oh, also:  The reverse can be true:  When the hotel has no availability (overall or just at certain categories), sometimes Expedia/Orbitz/etc. (usually initially through TripAdvisor these days) *will* have availability that couldn't be found on the hotel's website.  It takes a bit longer, and may not be worth it for a few dollars a night, but if it is a matter of difficulty finding availability, it might be useful.  (Or it might not be, of course!)

 

GC

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I do hope that you have travel insurance of some kind.

Speaking for myself, I try never to make non-refundable hotel reservations because stuff happens 🙂

 

Agreed.

 

However, we might not get travel insurance if the only cost is one or two  nights of moderate hotel costs.

But with a cruise, we ALWAYS get travel insurance!

And we get third party insurance, so that ALL expenses, starting from when we walk out the front door until we walk back in at the end are covered - not "just the cruise" or only direct cruise-related expenses.

 

To dcstorytellerhere is a link to the travel insurance section of CC:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/

 

GC

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Posted (edited)
Just now, GeezerCouple said:

However, we might not get travel insurance if the only cost is one or two  nights of moderate hotel costs.

That can easily be solved by using a credit card (like Chase Sapphire) that will cover that cost without any additional fees (in addition to giving one 3X the points/$ spent 🙂).

Edited by Paulchili

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3 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

That can easily be solved by using a credit card (like Chase Sapphire) that will cover that cost without any additional fees (in addition to giving one 3X the points/$ spent 🙂).

 

"Yes, but..."

 

Our claims might be due to a pre-existing condition (at our age, we've got some), so we don't rely upon that.

And we also aren't eager to get into a disagreement about whether something is/is not related to some pre-existing condition.  We figure we'd be likely to lose that argument, if an insurer chose to try to make it, although it's moot given that we always have coverage for any pre-existing conditions.  (But there have been two times, both large claims, where we don't think any pre-existing condition was relevant, but we could imagine someone trying to make some linkage...)

 

Our actual claims have always been for a part or all of a bigger trip, one that would also exceed the coverage for those card pollicies AFAIK.  I think only once did we need to cancel/no show for a pre-paid hotel.  And there have been a handful over the years where the hotel has kindly allowed us to change dates (on a so-called "non-changeable/non-refundable" reservation), or even to cancel entirely, but one certainly cannot count on that.

 

Separately, we prefer, thus far, to use AAdvantage or Amex MR points.   Very useful for our travels thus far.:classic_biggrin:

But it's different for each person's usage pattern, etc., of course.

 

All good information for dcstoryteller, of course!

 

GC

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Agree that everyone’s situation and every case is different but the more info is available here, the better for people to make decisions that fit their situation best.

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You guys have a lot more patience than I do to track down the lowest rate.  I had tried several hotels with good rates in Oslo, but none of them showed availability when I would try to book.  The Continental let me book, so I figured I had better take what I could get, even knowing the possibility I could get stuck.  On travel insurance, you all are right, but the insurance is very expensive and has all kinds of loopholes where they could deny the claim.  I have done about 15 cruises and have always self insured and so far it has worked out.  The money I have saved may catch up to me one day, but I understand that and won't be upset with myself. I use an Amex Delta platinum card and they are pretty good about fixing things that go wrong.  One other thing, my wife had to use the doctor on an Oceania cruise last year, and the bill was about $700 for an earache.  I paid it, but kept copies and applied to my health insurance...Blue Cross...and they paid every dime of it.

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I, too, am on this cruise. I booked my own room at the Grand for 2 nights. I made this booking in Dec. 2018. No deposit required and free cancelation. 

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You should join the roll call for this cruise.  

 

 

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We are also on this cruise.  I booked at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.  It is right next door to the train station which I thought would be convenient.  I gave up on the roll call because the person who is organizing the meet and greet keeps posting the same statement over and over every time someone new joins the meet and greet.  

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15 hours ago, Starlaker said:

We are also on this cruise.  I booked at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.  It is right next door to the train station which I thought would be convenient.  I gave up on the roll call because the person who is organizing the meet and greet keeps posting the same statement over and over every time someone new joins the meet and greet.  

And will continue to do so...

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Rather than giving up on the Roll Call, I would have simply ignored those posts -- which is easy to do.  That's assuming I didn't want to know the names of people attending the M&G.  Since I have most often set those up myself on cruises, I'm always interested in who will be joining us!  At the same time, I can understand your feelings.

 

The thing is:  you can get a lot of information at a Roll Call, and I've made some good friends BEFORE a cruise by visiting there.

 

To each his own.  There is no right or wrong here.

 

Mura

 

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Thanks Mura.  I didn't know you could do that.  It was easy.  

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We booked that 1 day pre-cruise through O last July for our 32 day Baltic/Iceland GV cruise and found the $800+ we paid for both of us was a fare deal when we considered:

 

- We got a cheaper rate for booking our international flight through O (than if we would have booked the same flight ourselves).

 

- We didn't have to pay the O deviation fee (as we are not Gold level yet) when we flew in a day early.

 

- We didn't have to pay for ship transfers from the airport (35 miles away) to the hotel and then from the hotel to the ship the next day.

 

- We also got a very nice room in the Oslo Grand hotel right in the downtown area with a $35 pp breakfast included.

 

And, last but not least as we are low stress cruises, we didn't have to do any pre-planning associated with arriving early (so we wouldn't miss the ship if something happened, which it did) except to check the box and it was done. But, that's just us. 

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I can see where it's only for one day, and you count up the benefits, it can be worth it -- even if you only consider convenience and not much about how doing all these things on your own would have cost.  But once you go in more than one day early, that $800/day does add up!  I remember how stressed out a fellow passenger was when he discovered that the London Marriott where we were staying could have cost a fraction of what he'd paid through O because he was a high-level member of their plan.  "Marriott" wasn't obviously on the name of the hotel so he hadn't realized where he really was staying.

 

Mura

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We stayed at CityBox in Bergen and when we're in Oslo next year we'll stay at the same.  Check out their photos and read the info.  We were super pleased with it.  And quite reasonably priced...unlike everything else in Norway 🙂

 

https://citybox.no/oslo-en/

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